CD Projekt Threatening Alleged Pirates

By John Walker on December 15th, 2011 at 10:13 am.

Just why?
Remember how we all cheered when CD Projekt removed the DRM from The Witcher 2? Although the GoG version was always free of the legitimate-customers-only punishing code, all other sources came with the straitjacket. Post launch, however, they patched it out, letting customers enjoy the game without concern. It seemed an all-round sensible way to behave, and despite piracy they sold over a million copies of the game. A happy story. Except, well, now according to TorrentFreak (and seemingly corroborated here, along with mentions of a few other titles) the publisher is reportedly threatening alleged (but unproven) pirates with ludicrous legal letters demanding large amounts of money.

Reminiscent of the vile threats sent out by delightful legal firm Davenport Lyons in 2008, the practice which TorrentFreak points out a US federal judge described as a “shakedown” has apparently been initiated in Germany, where thousands of letters have apparently been sent out demanding the ridiculous sum of €911.80 from anyone they think has downloaded and shared the game by bittorrent.

The widely condemned practice relies on the process of tracing people by their IP address, as if that’s any useful way to recognise a person using an internet connection. Be generous enough not to password your wifi (or of course not know how to password your wifi, as is obviously the case for huge numbers of non-net-savvy users) and anyone can download via your IP address. Let alone the confusions of housemates, guests, public spaces, and those who know the extremely simple tricks of disguising your IP. The numbers of false positives make what is already a particularly ghastly method of gaining money utterly reprehensible. And it seems it’s happening here, TorrentFreak reports, with people who have never heard of the game receiving these frightening threats.

The matter of the moral or legal nature of copying a game is not discussed here. To do it is to break the understood laws of many countries, and that is that. But the simple reality is that a pirated copy is not a lost sale. It is deliberately ignoring reality to make this idiotic claim. Piracy is unauthorised duplication, where nothing is “stolen”, but rather copied without permission or payment. (Where those corporations shout, “But you wouldn’t steal a car!” a sensible, level-headed body replies, “No, we wouldn’t. What does that have to do with anything? Because to pirate a car would be to drive off in it, while leaving it behind on the owner’s driveway.”) Those who cannot afford/aren’t interested enough/wanted to try first/just wanted without paying/etc etc have not taken something away from anyone to their immediate deficit, and do not represent a lost sale in any meaningful way. It cannot be proven that were piracy impossible they would have all paid for a copy, and it is of course obviously nonsense that they all would. But this point matters: The language being used is irrelevant to the reality of whatever crime may have taken place, and this incorrect terminology allows room for such hyperbolic and unjustified responses. And therefore, to charge people for the perceived loss of sales they’ve created by uploading a torrent is factually nonsensical.

Again, the legality of the act of unauthorised duplication is not in question. (Never mind the increasingly abundant evidence piling up that demonstrates piracy encourages sales, that is not relevant here.) This is about the response to piracy that has taken place, however wrong it may be to have done it in the first place. And that response is apparently to send out thousands of threatening letters, demanding a significant sum to prevent your having to go to court and face their claims of much more serious charges.

This is a grotesque practice, and one that seemed to be waning after the disgusted reaction from the masses in 2008, which saw Atari (publishers of The Witcher) eventually backing down from their actions. To hear that CD Projekt may be pulling the same awful scheme is a tragedy. They should back out of it immediately, and apologise, to save any face they still have.

We’ve contacted CDP for comment.

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545 Comments »

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  1. Thoric says:

    Well, i pre-ordered TW 2 from GOG, but i also pirated it at one point.

    Where does that leave us?

  2. Moth Bones says:

    Just commenting in support of RPS. Its writers come across as responsible, energetic journalists who don’t tend to exaggerate or cry foul without good reason. I’d go so far as to suggest it’s a computer game equivalent of The Quietus (music) or When Saturday Comes (football). So I don’t believe this article would be posted unless they were satisfied there is substance to this case.

    I’m very glad that there are still journalists who are prepared to ask questions and get to the bottom of things. What CDP are accused of is basically corporate extortion; reprehensible bullying that, as someone pointed out upthread, is most likely to get money out of frightened people who are not sure of their rights, whether or not they are guilty. Three cheers for John Walker for pursuing what is potentially a very serious case.

  3. iLag says:

    err… what exactly makes this newsworthy? this is how it goes in Germany, in fact many publishers do it. here’s a list of stuff: http://www.abmahndatenbank.de/Gesamtliste%20abgemahnte%20Werke.html (never mind all the porn, good people). yes, pirating Machinarium could get you in trouble!

    so if this stays restricted to Germany… well, nothing out of the ordinary, move along. if this happens in other European countries, it may quite cause a stir with all the pirates out there

  4. Nidokoenig says:

    If piracy is bad because it results in lost sales, then doing this is bad because it’s about to lose them $50 from the potential sale of the stuff I have in my GoG basket. I’m kind and/or lazy enough to leave it in there while we wait for an official statement, see if this is directly authorised by CDProjekt or by some dickhead publisher they won’t be using again.

    As for essentially criminalising open wifi, criminalising sharing something is downright stupid, and it being encrypted is no protection, lots of routers are very easy to crack(There was a feature about this on BBC News a while back), and who knows best how to get the tools to crack secure programs? Yeah, if you don’t encrypt your wifi you’ll get letters, if you do encrypt it, you’ll still get letters and have a much harder time proving it wasn’t you to a judge who probably has his secretary print out his email for him. If that argument holds, then any publisher that gets their stuff pirated is an accessory on the grounds that their encryption was insufficient.

  5. Suva says:

    The negative publicity is a calculated risk, they are expecting to rake in more money from the blackmail project than they expect to lose on the lost sales because of the publicity.

  6. Sic says:

    Excuse my ignorance, but how exactly do they know where to send the letter?

    All they get from trackers are a slew of IP addresses. Don’t they have to either do illegal snooping or get a court order to legally extract this information from ISPs?

  7. Teddy Leach says:

    So it’s a bit like this then?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lztwjgD10Yw

    I just wanted an excuse to share that video.

  8. wodin says:

    Doesn’t your IP adress chnage anyway every couple of months?

    • MiniMatt says:

      Depends, most home users get a DHCP (dynamic) address from their ISP which will indeed change every so often, though could conceivably retain the same lease for years, or just days.

      One would hope that the instigators of such legalese blackmail would at least be asking ISPs “who had x.x.x.x address at such and such a specific time”, which ISPs will have logged, rather than a straight “who has x.x.x.x address?”

  9. mendel says:

    Mr Walker, do you know for certain that CDproject are behind these letters? Have you asked them?

    German law has a concept called “Negotiorum gestio” (look it up on Wikipedia), which basically means anyone can send those letters, even if they never talked to the copyright holder. The shysters in the business are know to work that way.

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      “Mr Walker, do you know for certain that CDproject are behind these letters? Have you asked them?”

      Last line of the article.

  10. NathanH says:

    This is a grim day: I like to see pirates slaughtered, but I don’t like these threat scams. I’m not so worried about the “my housemate did it” argument, although it does suggest that the system of having an account in one user’s name is too restrictive, and it should be possible to have it in everyone’s name with everyone sharing legal liabilities for something like this, then at least you don’t have to pay up all yourself.

    I am more worried by the fact that you can send these demands on the basis of very little evidence and probably get some money out of it. This happened to my mother a few years ago, where there had clearly been some car caught by a speed camera and they couldn’t quite work out the number plate, so they targeted some people who it might possibly have been. Fortunately the system here worked quite well, the exchange being:

    Authorities: You were caught speeding, pay some money or we will take you to court and make you pay more money
    Mother’s lawyer: My client was not at that location on that day, please provide your photographic evidence
    Authorities: We now accept that your client was not at that location
    Mother’s lawyer: my legal fees are £x, please pay them
    Authorities: OK

    If the legal system you’re in supports the last step, everyone involved in these scams should do it and the scams would probably stop. If it doesn’t support the last step, this is a flaw that needs addressing.

    • Guvornator says:

      Indeed, it’s not on. However, seeing as there’s a lack of political will and knowledge on the subject I’m not sure they have a choice. It’s either go draconian with some bunch of dodgy ambulance chasers or let it lie, letting years of work and effort hit the net for free without a by-your-leave.

      Also, congratulations for having an anti-CDProjekt view which doesn’t involve insults, wild exaggerations or anything that makes me think what you’re really pissed off about is someone’s taking away your God-given right to free stuff that someone poured their life into for 3 years. You, sir, are champion.

      …but that’s just my personal opinion.

  11. Holkeye says:

    Ok, so I’ve been a huge fan of RPS for years and years, but have never read a story that I felt warranted a comment from myself until this one:

    I bought this game the day that it came out. In fact, I had it preordered for months. Unfortunately, when I ripped it open and tried to install, my DVD drive wouldn’t recognize the disk. Of course, I immediately looked for information online, and uh-oh! 25% of DVD drives won’t read the backwards disks that CDP chose to master their game on! I was a little concerned, so I captured screenshots, scanned my receipt, and went to CDP’s website for some help. After waiting a week, I said screw it, and downloaded the game from a torrent tracker. I still have not received a response from CDP about my failed disks.

    tldr; If you’re going to bitch about piracy and go after people who pirate your games, you had better make damn sure that you do EVERYTHING in your power to help the people who are actually purchasing from you.

  12. foda500orama says:

    If everyone had a single, unchangeable, IP address I’d be perfectly fine with this, since that’s not really the case it’s not hard to see how wrong this can go.

    Edit: And anyone that pirated Witcher 2 should get kicked in the fucking teeth.

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      “And anyone that pirated Witcher 2 should get kicked in the fucking teeth.”

      oh look,another person who thinks piracy is black and white.

    • foda500orama says:

      I should have been more specific, it should have been “anyone that has pirated Witcher 2 and did not buy it afterwards should get kicked in the fucking teeth”.

  13. ranunc says:

    But the simple reality is that a pirated copy is not a lost sale.

    Am I the only one who has worked in the software world who threw up a little after reading this?

    If not, help me out: would you be fine if a game co. sold one copy and everyone else “copied” it for their own use? After all, there would be no lost sales, would there?

    • Megadyptes says:

      Just the same old tired shit that always gets spouted out to try and justify piracy.

    • Ichi_1 says:

      @ranunc

      Building straw men just weakens your argument. You know as well as I do that piracy has never caused any software to end up selling only one copy. Piracy is basically good old capitalism. If you charge ludicrous amounts for software then people will pirate it instead. So either lower your prices or stop winging. I know some people will pirate regardless of price but if that’s the case then what have you lost? If they were never going to buy it in the first place then you’ve lost exactly ZERO SALES

    • edit says:

      Just as some food for thought, some of these “pay what you want” indie bundles, for instance, have been ludicrously successful. I get the feeling if you (content creators in general) extend some generosity, trust and positivity to your audience they will be much more willing to support you than if you are trying to fight them to pay your determined price and punish them if they don’t.

    • Apples says:

      I think it is phrased badly (in that a pirated copy CAN be a lost sale), but I also think it’s true that one pirated copy does not EQUAL one lost sale. Because you can’t be sure what the intention or reason of pirating it is. In fact it could be more than one lost sale, or a lost sale but only in that the person would have bought it and felt dissatisfied with it and has used pirating to make a more informed decision, or not a lost sale because they would never have bought it.

      Would I be fine with it if that company sold one game and everyone who, in some alternate universe without piracy, would otherwise have bought it didn’t? No. But if everyone in that alternate universe would not have bought it anyway and only pirated it because “hey it’s free, why not”, yeah I’m cool with it. But we don’t have that alternate universe in real life so you can’t simply go “LOST SALES OMG EVIL PIRATES” because we DON’T KNOW whether they were lost sales! And definitely not with enough certainty to try and charge people ludicrous amounts of money over it!

    • Premium User Badge

      Aninhumer says:

      @ranuc
      “would you be fine if a game co. sold one copy and everyone else “copied” it for their own use?”

      No I wouldn’t be fine with that. However that doesn’t happen, so your point is meaningless.

      As a developer, what you should care about is actual sales. If piracy reduces your sales then it is a problem, but there is evidence to show that this might not be the case. Maybe you should consider both possibilities, instead of blindly asserting that there is a problem.

    • thegooseking says:

      I’m sure some people would buy it if they couldn’t pirate it and I’m sure some people wouldn’t buy it even if they couldn’t pirate it. But estimating the relative proportions of those two camps is total speculation without any kind of evidential basis. It might be more accurate to say “a pirated copy is not necessarily a lost sale” but if you’re going to try to quantify the degree of probability associated with that, you’re essentially limited to pulling numbers out of your a- out of thin air, which isn’t very helpful.

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      @Ichi: Another claim that piracy is caused by the oh-so-evil, oh-so-greedy developers, eh? All those poor, innocent little pirates, forced into their nefarious misdeeds by the cruel overlords at CDP. Makes my heart bleed.

      Oh, no, it doesn’t. It’s just another whingeing little pirate who lacks even the balls to take responsibility for his own behaviour. How pathetic.

  14. netizensmith says:

    I don’t agree with quite how they are detecting the pirates but this IS, fundamentally, the best way to go about protecting your IP. DRM assumes that I am a pirate. When I installed Skyrim it assumed that I had an illegal copy and made me put in a code to prove I wasn’t. When they fucked the patch up and I tried to reinstall without being connected to Steam the installer assumed I was a dirty pirate trying to get around DRM and wouldn’t let me. You know the people who didn’t have any trouble with the 1.2 Skyrim patch? Pirates.

    Getting a threatening when you’ve done nothing wrong means that their system is broken of course, I’m not defending that.

  15. Ichi_1 says:

    @Sarah83

    You keep banging on about how piracy is affecting pc gamers and pc games but you haven’t given any explanation. Care to elaborate on why piracy is so evil?

    And just because something is law does not make it right. If people just accepted every ridiculous law from the beginning of history we’d still have black people being forced to sit at the back of buses and gay people would be hung. These may be extreme examples but people should decide on whether a law is just, not the other way around

  16. Megadyptes says:

    Oh wow, a car analogy!
    “The matter of the moral or legal nature of copying a game is not discussed here.” Then a full paragraph on the morality of piracy. lol.

    • PodX140 says:

      Sorry to tell you, but morality was not discussed, just simple marketing, and I’m not claiming it’s morally good or bad, and neither is John. All that was pointed out was the mechanics of the matter. So please, next time read the article properly before posting your drivel on one of the last good journalist gaming sites. I’m amazed the writers can put up with this kind of (practically – I find) harassment.

    • Guvornator says:

      I know, right? Personally I would have felt a bit more comfy if this was two articles, one on the news itself, then the other on John’s thoughts on it, but that’s just a personal opinion. Incidentally, I’d like that last phrase to be mandatory for all internet discussions i.e.

      “Oh for god’s sake put a sock in it, you embarrassing bunch of pious, goody-two-flippers wankers who’ve never broken a law in your lives.”…but that’s just my own personal opinion.

      Seriously, people, lets all just try and have a little respect all round.

  17. edit says:

    That’s a shame. I’m not going to rant or get into arguments… I will simply no longer shop at GOG (alas, I even have items in my cart). I did not pirate the game and have no intention of pirating any game, but I don’t support this kind of action.

    • JCJensen says:

      And how is this affecting YOU?!

    • Nidokoenig says:

      Some people don’t like supporting unethical practices, regardless of whether they’re a victim or not. Some even consider it a civic duty to oppose unethical practices. Mad, I know.

      Even if every last IP address matches up exactly with the person who downloaded a copy of the game, 900 Euros is a ridiculous figure far beyond what damage they might actually cause to sales. It’s about twenty times the asking price, so unless this is limited to people with a 10:1 share ratio or higher, it’s ridiculous. This is a shakedown, even if you’re blind to the fact that wifi is easily hacked and most people live in households of more than one person, this stinks.

  18. alundra says:

    This nothing short of terrorism committed by corporations based on the sole ground that the average person will not be able to answer in court, who’s going to take it against a multi million corporation?? These people have pockets deep enough to have any country’s legal system write laws that work on their favor.

    That is the very same reason why this can’t be just fixed, it’s fixed already, in their favor, and anyone justifying this kind of behavior is either shilling in favor of private interests or just a very disgusting human being.

    • Megadyptes says:

      No, it’s nothing at all like terrorism. Grow up.

    • PodX140 says:

      Terrorism – the act of spreading terror.

      Making people fear that they have to pay a company or pay a lawyer even more? That sounds like spreading terror to me.

      Not saying I agree with the label, but it is technically correct.

    • Ichi_1 says:

      Ah good to see that some people still only associate terrorism with people blowing themselves up

    • alundra says:

      @Megadyptes
      I always love when someone pops in and validates my argument.

      If you don’t think this is terrorism, fine, you’ve no idea what terrorism is then, why don’t you ask Jammie Thomas-Rasset how she felt when she was fined with 1.92 million usd for downloading 24 songs?

      http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/06/riaa-jury-slaps-2-million-fine-on-jammie-thomas/

      As for the grow up bit, yeah, it was very mature and all, specially coming from someone who has no grip of what terrorism is.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Its not terrorism , but its corporate bullying.

      Basically putting people in position where no fair trial can be achieved , because one party has infinite resources.

      Welcome to Cyber punk apocalypse

    • Guvornator says:

      Yeah, man, it’s TERRORISM, man! Fight the power! Hell, it’s not like CDProjekt own a site where you can download games DRM free for a tiny amount of cash….oh, wait…

      …but that’s just my personal opinion. Incidentally, what do you think RPS’s advertisers are going to make of Mr. Walker’s stance on this issue?

    • Milky1985 says:

      Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. “, so while there is no violence here and that seems to be the deciding factor you could still claim this ( but I wouldn’t because there is no actual violence involved here). But as its not against a nation and its from a corp its seen as OK and possible corperate bullying.

      I guess its mostly what side of the debate you are on effectivly, as they say , one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

  19. Lobotomist says:

    I remember CDR said they will do this, long time before the game was even out.

    Retarded and scary that it was. But they gave the warning…

    Just saying.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      By the way I shall go and urinate on some people later. Cheerio!

  20. mr.ioes says:

    I’ve read the article on Torrentfreak and now on RPS and I still think this is a hoax.

    If literally “thousands” ( ~Torrentfreak) people would have received such letter, you could find lots of forum users complaining and asking on various platforms.

    Just type ‘abmahnung web.de’ or ‘abmahnung gothic 3′ for instance. That’s how it looks when people receive those malicious letters.

    It’s really suspicious that there are lots of “official legal help” (apparently the only thing RPS & Torrentfreak can link to in order to back up their story) out there but not a single user to find.

    I can’t believe that I’m the only one to see that something’s fishy here.
    Think about it.

  21. JCJensen says:

    How dare they demand money from those who have STOLEN their property..

    CDP have a wonderful treatment to their legal customers, unlike any other company out there. Witcher 2 was cheaper than most games, although of higher quality, and it came with a box full of goodies while other companies just put a black and white ten paper long manuals. Also, DRM was removed very fast, and now they are suffering because they put their customers in the first place..

    I am one of those customers, and I don’t give a fuck what will happen to someone who, despite all the things I mentioned, pirated the game like some cheap idiot..

    • Holkeye says:

      This is just not true. See my earlier comment.

    • Ichi_1 says:

      There is ZERO EVIDENCE to suggest that they have lost out on sales because of piracy though. If you could point me to some figures I’ll happily take a look.

      Until that event this is all nothing but baseless conjecture and hyperbole. Has the game done badly? Last time I checked the Witcher 2 had recorded impressive sales figures and the company was very successful commercially.

      They are taking action against a problem that doesn’t actually exist. If Witcher 2 had recorded poor sales despite reasonable pricing and critical acclaim then we’d have something to discuss. It’s like you saying I need to be arrested because me being out in the world is detrimental to your well being, despite no evidence to support the claim

    • Apples says:

      Well yes it might have come with some extra baubles, but I still didn’t like the game. I would be annoyed if somebody came round trying to get me to pay 1000 times its retail price, just because I wanted to try it out before deciding whether I thought it was worth supporting with my money or not (I decided it wasn’t). Maybe I’m a cheap idiot, or maybe I just don’t want to throw money at companies without knowing beforehand whether the product is worth it!

      Requisite car analogy: there was no test drive for the car. I drove a friend’s car of the same model for free and decided it was rubbish. I didn’t buy the car. Lost sale!?

    • JCJensen says:

      Zero evidence??? LOL!!!

      I already told you I know a lot of people who wouldn’t miss a Witcher game for a world, but they didn’t bought it, because it was available for FREE!! And they have money..

      What evidence do you need here?! It’s just common sense.. Most people who pirate are the ones who think like this: ‘Why should I pay for something when I can have that for free, and spend that money on something else?’

    • Apples says:

      Hmm yes “common sense”, that always holds up in court. How do you know that most people will not buy a game they pirate? All you know is that some of the people you know won’t. Which is what studies (i.e. evidence) is needed for.

    • Belsameth says:

      So, by your logic I would’ve bought dozens, if not hundreds, of rubbish games?
      because, clearly, I would buy every game I have pirated. (Yes, I also have a steam library of 150ish game, not to mention the stacks of console games).

      Someone earlier up in the comments linked an artikel (by a game developer!) where they clearly state, backed up by actual numbers, that (with their game) every 1000 pirated copies converted to 1 lost sale.

      Silly man :)

    • Apples says:

      Do you understand the difference between statistical likelihood and a single person doing something? Saying “most people buy the games they pirate” (which I did not do; I said that we don’t know whether they do, or whether the opposite is true) has nothing to do with you, personally, buying a game you pirate. You can say “Well I don’t, therefore no-one does” and I can say “Well I do, therefore everyone does” and we can both go absolutely nowhere; or we can both say “We’re not sure yet”, which is the truth.

      The article is a single study on a single casual game I’ve never heard of. I am not an expert on studies about pirating and I don’t claim to be, but I do know that a single study is not enough to come to a conclusion, and that there is a big difference in the audience (and audience’s attitudes towards games) between Witcher 2 and Ricochet. So I don’t think that one thing is enough to say “Yes lost sales are real”. It’s not very convincing.

      also not a man. i might be silly though.

  22. Unaco says:

    1. Piracy is illegal.
    2. Piracy is a problem… it hurts the Game Industry, Developers, Publishers etc.
    3. No one really seems to be prosecuting Piracy, not in any great extent, and no one from the State as it were.

    With #3 there, it’s quite obvious that Private companies are going to start making what profit can be made from chasing and threatening Pirates and suspected Pirates, filling the hole in the market. I’m sure there are going to be some false positives, some mothers who can’t believe their son would do this, etc etc. The innocent should have nothing to fear though. If they’re innocent, it can’t be proven in court.

    It’s a shady tactic, but so is Pirating a game… especially one that had the DRM removed.

    DRM in the its current state, in the way it’s used by most devs/pubs doesn’t work, we all know that (unless it’s STEAM), so it’s hardly surprising that companies like CD Projekt will look to other methods to protect their work. Personally I think low prices and swift digital downloads have been the best weapon, which CDProjekt had for The Witcher 2.

    • SquareWheel says:

      Many things wrong with this.

      “1. Piracy is illegal.”

      First, define piracy. Then let us know the country and locality, because different areas obviously have different laws. Then we can talk, but blanket statements like that are useless.

      “The innocent should have nothing to fear though. If they’re innocent, it can’t be proven in court.”

      Nothing can be proven in court because tracing IP addresses does diddly squat. It’s frivolous and proves nothing. Of course those in power don’t understand this because the internet is a complicated system, and copyright-enforcer groups like these intentionally spread misinformation. They honestly have no idea who pirated what, they are guesses used to extort money. These people are scum.

      “DRM in the its current state, in the way it’s used by most devs/pubs doesn’t work, we all know that (unless it’s STEAM)”

      Uh no, Steamworks DRM has been broken since Steamworks DRM has existed. Steam as a PLATFORM is successful due to convenience, the server-side checks before you play your game are not the reason for Steam’s success.

    • Unaco says:

      On Piracy being illegal. From the article…

      “The matter of the moral or legal nature of copying a game is not discussed here. To do it is to break the understood laws of many countries, and that is that”

      On nothing being proven in court…

      Even with a Dynamic IP, almost all ISPs these days have to keep records of which customer had which IP at which time. It can be proven which customer had the IP used to Pirate the game. In Germany, the locality under discussion, you are held responsible for anything that goes on with your internet connection.

      On Steam…

      I see Steam as Good DRM… it asks a customer to be online (unless using Offline mode) which is asking something of the user and is slightly negative… but it offers so much to go with that (chat, friends, achievements, stats etc), so much positive in return, that the Steam version is a better version than the Pirated one. People want to use Steam… as GabeN says “Offer a better product/service, and people will want to use it, even if they could Pirate”. Because people want to use it, developers want to get their games on it… it gives those developers a DRM solution that isn’t a poison pill for customers.

      The Steam DRM is the connection requirement AND the extra service provided by the Platform. And customers like it.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      There are guaranteed to be IP addresses included that didn’t download anything though. BT trackers include random IPs as a matter of course.

    • alundra says:

      “The innocent should have nothing to fear though. If they’re innocent, it can’t be proven in court.”

      And yet another ignorant remark, do you have any idea how the legal system works nowadays?? What?? you think an appointed public lawyer will be able to compete against a AAA private legal bureau with more money at their disposal than what you will see on your whole life??

      Good luck paying your defense expenses and cross fingers and tighten butt that you win and have only to pay your defense and not losing and they bill you for every second of court time.

    • Unaco says:

      Many countries have things similar to Legal Aid, which provides lawyers for those who can’t afford them. In addition, I would assume that if an innocent was taken to court, and it was proven that they were innocent, that the litigators would have to pay the defendants Legal fees. The Legal system should protect those falsely accused.

    • Belsameth says:

      Use google.

      There’s tons of evidence all over the place that this is a mass shakedown and not IP protection.
      There’s also tons of evidence that innocents are being hit en mass by these kinds of practices.

    • SquareWheel says:

      “Even with a Dynamic IP, almost all ISPs these days have to keep records of which customer had which IP at which time.”

      Doesn’t matter, it can be spoofed or you could just have an open wifi.

      “I see Steam as Good DRM… it asks a customer to be online (unless using Offline mode) which is asking something of the user and is slightly negative… but it offers so much to go with that (chat, friends, achievements, stats etc)”

      Steam can provide those features without the server-side checks. You can even add non-Steam games to get the overlay/friends list. The DRM adds nothing.

  23. Suits says:

    This hurts them more than the pirating..

  24. MadTinkerer says:

    My brother and I download un-legit things all the time. In our case, it often leads to sales that the original publishers would not have otherwise gotten. Sometimes we download things to try them out. Sometimes we download things because there isn’t a way for us to pay for them (Japanese-region only games + fan translations, for example, and American and British games that aren’t in stores anymore and not on GoG yet, as another example). Sometimes we download things because we haven’t heard of them and we don’t know whether they’re available or not and then we track down the company’s web site and get a legit copy (particularly in the case of games, books, and DVDs with limited releases).

    I’ll tell you right now, publishers have profited greatly from our ability to easily access un-legit versions of their products. Yeah, there are plenty who just grab and grab and don’t think twice about never compensating the publishers, developers, and authors, but we are not like those people. I’ve never torrent-ed The Witcher 2, but even if I did, I do have a legit copy as well so it isn’t possible for me to owe them any more money. So forget about it, CD Project, and just be happy I’m buying Ultima VII on GoG even though I have three legit copies of it already. ;)

  25. Innovacious says:

    Dynamic IP addresses.

    As far as i am aware the majority of people do not have static IPs. Ive seen it many time, someone connects to the internet or restarts their router, goes to a website and it says they have been banned. They got unlucky and got a banned members old IP.

    Also, someone sent me this the other day. http://www.youhavedownloaded.com

    Its a list of things they have seen your IP downloading via trackers. There is only one thing listed for me, and i have absolutely no idea what it even is, and it was over a month ago. Any number of people could have used this IP address since then.

    • Apples says:

      ISPs keep records of who is allocated what dynamic IP at what time though, don’t they? I assumed that companies would ask the ISP for that info rather than going after random dynamic addresses.

  26. Kevin says:

    So maybe copying isn’t “stealing,” regardless of semantics, I still think a guy pirating a copy of The Witcher 2 is being an ass. That guy is still depriving CD Projekt of some well-deserved money after all the hard work and passion they put into making that game.

    • Ichi_1 says:

      I think we need to differ between people who just download a pirated copy of the game and those who crack games and put those pirated copies on to torrent sites. The former are not really the cause of the issue and therefore are not the ones who should be persecuted. This is why this type of action is wrong. It will not affect the people who have cracked and distributed the game

    • Apples says:

      There are a lot of people here mixing up “I liked the game” with “EVERYONE SHOULD BUY THE GAME!!! EVERYONE!”

    • Blackcompany says:

      Firstly, disclosure: I have never pirated/obtained for free a single video game. Ever.
      .
      I think we need to clarify exactly what it means to be a “pirate” in this context. Because I clearly remember buying CD’s (you know, those funny looking frisbee shaped things with music on them) and then loaning them to friends. I clearly recall ripping and burning them onto other, blank CD’s in order to play them in my car without wearing out the original, pressed copy. I also remember making copies for friends.
      .
      I loaned console games. Hell, we are legally allowed to resale our console games and to buy used copies of them in stores. After all, someone bought them brand new, played them or didn’t and since they OWNED their copy of the game, were free to do with it as they pleased.
      .
      And that, dear chaps, is the key here: do we, or do we not, own the games we purchase? We bought the game. We paid full price for our very own copy to play any time we wished. Talk EULAs all you want; don’t care. My concern is an ethical one not a legal one. We bought it plain and simple, and we therefore own it. Period.
      .
      Video game developers are incredibly immature. They whine and cry about lost sales and lost profits to the point of the ridiculous. Despite, as this article points out, absolutely no evidence of lost sales. How do they know the people who pirated their game would have bought it? As this article points out, assuming such things is simply stupid. Its also childish whining to boot.
      .
      I mean c’mon, Skyrim sold millions of copies at $60/copy. Do the math. Bethesda are surely hurting from all the ‘lost sales’ pirates caused them. Ditto for CDProjekt. One million copies at between $25 and $49.99 each. Certainly they are not exactly starving for profits here.
      .
      I understand both sides of this argument. Really I do. devs have to eat; some of these games take years to make and they can work on nothing else the entire time. But for a smallish dev team to pull down between 20 and 50 million in profits for 2 years worth of work….I think they can get by.
      .
      Of course, behavior like this will help to ensure it will be the last time they do pull down profits like this, too.

    • Guvornator says:

      @blackcompany not sure about your argument on that one. About half of that money goes to publisher of every game sold, with the rest going to the retailer, distribution, platform royalties etc. Of that half, a portion of it has to go on development costs, which is dependent on the time and costs involved. Only 4% of video games make a profit. That means games which do make a profit are supporting games which don’t (or to put it another way, MW3 is directly responsible for whatever junk Activision decide to foist on us next year).

      Piracy is worth billions. Bare in mind that piracy doesn’t just cover downloading from the net, it also covers the illegal selling of games and applications in DVD in places like China, where copyright laws a barely enforced at all. Some of that money gets funnelled into the criminal underworld. They get their illegal copies from the same place the casual pirate does – the internet. It is, when looked at in totality A Bad Thing. Now, whether CDProjekt’s actions are proportionate is another thing altogether, but I think it’s understandable that they’re trying to stamp it out.

      ..but that’s just my personal opinion.

      http://kotaku.com/5479698/what-your-60-really-buys
      http://www.computerandvideogames.com/202380/report-only-4-of-games-make-profit/

  27. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    Yee-haa! In your face filthy pirates! And you too Grandma, don’t give me any “what’s an ip address” nonsense. See you in court bitch, and bring your pension book.

    • Guvornator says:

      Where the hell is the recommend button on this thing?

    • Belsameth says:

      You, sir, deserve at least 1 statue. Possibly more.

      How bout reshaping Lady Liberty in your image?

    • PodX140 says:

      I believe I may have thrown up from the amount of hate and self-righteousness.

  28. Hoaxfish says:

    I see the problem with using an IP to demand money.

    But, hey, it’s still better than a lot of the forms DRM takes (mainly the ones which actively deny legal owners from their game via various “offline/online” faults).

  29. Deano2099 says:

    Here’s the thing. If CD Projekt want to sue people that pirate their games, then I think it’s a little arsey of them but I can’t question it. Totally their right. People shouldn’t have pirated. They deserve it. It’s fair.

    But that’s categorically NOT what they’re doing.

    In the UK Davenport Lyons sent thousands of these letters. They took three to court. ACS Law took up the mantel. Neither of them every proved a case in court, as the only ones they took to court were those where the accused ignored them, then didn’t show up for the trial at all, so they won by default. It’s unknown if they every got the money from them – for all we know the only cases they won were against dead people.

    This is absolutely key. These companies are not in the business of proving the guilty guilty and receiving fair recompense. They’re in the business of intimidating people into paying up without having to make any effort to prove something. That’s not how the law is made to be used.

    For those stating that having an IP address linked to the torrent is enough and they’d obviously win, no. That was the argument ACS Law made to the courts in requesting summary judgements on all the cases (ie – judgement made without a full hearing purely on evidence provided by each side). They were denied this. Maybe you know better than a judge. Probably not.

    It ain’t hard. If you want to sue people, sue people. Don’t dick around with threatening a ton of people in the hope someone pays up.

    I stand entirely by what I’ve just written, but I’m 100% ready to retract this statement. If more than 1% of these cases actually go to court I’ll turn on a dime.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Whether or not people did or did not “pirate” the game (since when did sharing something you own with other interested parties become ‘pirating?) CD Projekt is not trying to prosecute them within the boundaries of any international law of which I am aware. Not within the boundaries of any law at all, actually.
      .
      In the U.S., unless you are a politician, blackmail and extortion are illegal. (If you are a politician, by contrast, apparently nothing is illegal, though cheating on your wife apparently matters.)
      .
      If these claims are true then CD Projekt are attempting to blackmail and extort money from individuals who may or may not be guilty of some alleged crime. They are, in other words, using illicit methods in order to deprive people of their hard earned money without due process of law.
      .
      In our nation we have this little document says you can’t do that. Period. Something they might want to consider lest they decide to take this to the international stage.

  30. rocketman71 says:

    It’s sad. Even if CD Project thinks they’re defending their property, lawyers will always be lawyers:

    Anti-Piracy Lawyers Knew They Targeted Innocent Victims

    And since those are the ones that sued in 2008 regarding The Witcher (the original one), I doubt CD Projekt doesn’t know what a fuckup that was. Just ask the judge.

    Bad bad bad CdP. I guess no Witcher 2 gifts this Christmas then.

  31. Nihi says:

    They learned from French Laws.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HADOPI
    George Orwell here we come.

    • Guvornator says:

      Yes, it’s totally Big Brother to make you have to pay for stuff you want to play and has cost the developer millions to make, not to say the long, long hours spent crafting code into a form you enjoy playing. Oh, yeah, and the years spent begging publishers for money from publishers, and time spent away from family , and the emotional drain.

      Holy shit. If I was a games developer reading some of the stuff on here I’d either slit my throat or go cap in hand back to Maccy D’s and beg for a fucking job.

      …but that’s just my personal opinion.

    • Ichi_1 says:

      Well I AM a games developer and piracy really doesn’t bother me. As long as a game turns a healthy profit it really doesn’t matter. It all comes down to greed.

      If your game earns 10 million profit you can’t complain about pirates affecting your commercial sales when it’s a totally unproven fact as to whether piracy hinders or aids sales

    • Nihi says:

      Well, i don’t defend piracy, of course it’s wrong. But the way they react is wrong too.
      I LOVE, CdProjekt, but it’s the first time they disappoint me.
      It’s not about money or anything, it just makes no sense to sue “IP Adress” (and this is why this French law is so controverted).
      Piracy has always been here, maybe even more at the beginning of gaming, the problem being, games are expensive to DO, and that’s the problem, you can’t fight piracy, you can try but you’ll just piss off customers. When some companies have hundreds of employees working on ONE game, of course it gets hard to make some benefits.
      Again, i really love CD Projekt, have a dedicated collector and i support them, but not this time.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      Funny you should mention HADOPI. Look who was accused of breaking it today: http://torrentfreak.com/french-presidents-residence-busted-for-bittorrent-piracy-111215/

  32. JCJensen says:

    I seriously hope this thing does well for them, not because other publishers and developers should follow, but because The Witcher 2 did everything right. It had no DRM, it was a beautiful game pushing hardware sales and it was an awesome role-playing game. They pretty much made the game PC gamers craved for and still it was pirated to hell and back.

    • Ichi_1 says:

      You hope that people who may or may not have pirated the game have to pay a ridiculous sum of money? Even if someone did pirate the game that isn’t a reason to sue them for 45 times the retail price of the game. This is nothing but another successful company trying to earn revenue through dodgy methods.

      This trend really needs to stop. What with this, DRM and companies like EA trying to kill off the second hand game market by forcing people to buy codes for content they should already be entitled to. Pretty soon we as gamers will have no consumer rights

  33. hanfastolfe says:

    Ha! I spent my evening trying to patch my pirated version to 2.0, got frustrated, saw it on sale on Steam and bought it!

    PIRACY LEADS TO SALES, PEOPLE.

    (piracy does not lead to salespeople, so, win-win)

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      But in your example, only foiled piracy leads to sales – the implication is that if you’d been able to patch your copy to 2.0 easily then you’d never have bought the thing.

      The only thing piracy always leads to is feeble attempts at self-justification from pirates.

    • RogB says:

      alternative outcome: Say you managed to patch it incredibly easily, would you have bothered buying it then?

      (edit) Llewyn beat me to it

    • Milky1985 says:

      “alternative outcome: Say you managed to patch it incredibly easily, would you have bothered buying it then?”

      What if he never pirated it at all? If he didn’t pirate it he wouldn’t have had problems patching it so never would have seen it on steam sale and bought it!

      If you are going to ask questions ask all of em.

    • PodX140 says:

      To be honest we can’t tell what would have happened if he didn’t pirate the game at all, and that’s. the. point!. Seriously people, there is no concrete study saying that piracy hurts or helps sales. None. So stop going on gut feeling and “it feels wrong” and go by the facts of THERE ARE NONE, so drop the topic!

  34. deke913 says:

    It is rapidly getting to the point to where you almost have to have all your media on a digital file.

    Many of my older games ( and I have hundreds) on cd, I have made into image files. However, there are many of them I cannot simply because my computer won’t even recognize the cd.

    According to every legal statement I have found about this, you are allowed to have 2 copies of any game just so long as you own the original copy.

    There should be no legal backlash against me if I download a torrent of a game that currently exists physically in my home.

    • johnpeat says:

      Wrongity Wrong…

      By using the BitTorrent system, you are not only downloading a file but also – at the same time – offering it for upload.

      That is illegal and you can be prosecuted for it – regardless of whether you own the original or not.

      As for owning copies – the legality of this varies country-by-country and depends on the means of acquiring the copy (as reversing copy protection to do so is illegal under US law – for example)

      The fact that file sharing tends to involve people/systems from multiple countries also further complicates any attempt at calling it ‘legal’ – bottom line is you’re almost certainly braking copyright law somewhere by making/keeping copies of stuff.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “By using the BitTorrent system, you are not only downloading a file but also – at the same time – offering it for upload.”

      Nope, you can configure a client to not upload. You can say that someone probably uploaded (as that is the default, as scroungers are frowned upon and get slower speeds etc) but it is possible to download without uploading (or just uploading crap deliberatly)

  35. Velvetmeds says:

    Maybe if Witcher 2 had been remotely good…

    Focus on making something that isn’t a turd and then you’ll have my respect Cdprojekt

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Given the popularity and general reviews of it, I’d say your advice is perhaps a little irrelevant.

  36. deke913 says:

    I here what you are saying Balobam, but it also sounds a lot like “If I determine something to be in my best interest I should be allowed to do it”.

    Many a fine folk in prison today for just such thinking.

    Being able to do something, and not doing it because in your heart you know it to be wrong, is what defines the man.

  37. johnpeat says:

    p.s. 7 pages in can I just say

    People still use BitTorrent – I mean – WTF – put a sign on your house saying “I pirate things” whilst you’re at it :) :)

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      Of course people still use Bittorrent. Right now I’m (legally) torrenting the recent Humble Bundle and helping them out with their bandwidth costs.

    • johnpeat says:

      I meant for purposes which are non-legal (although as an aside, unless the Torrent is official, it’s still illegal ofc).

      There’s a difference between “legal” and “not likely to get prosecuted for it” :)

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Bittorrent is legal. Now if you say “I’m surprised people are still pirating” it’s a little different, especially given there’re all manner of random anti-piracy misfires (suing innocent people, judges call you out for nonsense claims, etc). Piracy is thriving because it’s still rather hard to really pin it on anyone with absolute certainty.

      Hell, people still steal cars, or riot, even when that’s actually a lot easier to prove (given the physical objects involved, and CCTV etc)

  38. Kandon Arc says:

    QFT

    What surprises me is that so many newspapers, political parties and pressure groups that are normally always saying let the free market sort it out, decide that in this case, outdated business models must be defended.

  39. merc-ai says:

    That is not nice on their side.
    And to think that I was planning on buying Witcher 2 next week to support “a decent company”, hah.
    No way they are getting a sale from me now.

  40. pipman3000 says:

    these thieves and criminals must be telling the truth right

    gokusephiroth69 told me cd projekt held a knife up to his mother’s throat and demanded he hand over his credit card info

  41. barrytheferret says:

    I have registered to give people a little legal knowledge here. Computer games are actually written programs and are in fact classed as books when it comes to copyright (in the UK). The whole purpose of copyright was invented to stop people reproducing books without permission of the publisher.

    When an author writes a piece of work they go to a publisher and enter a contract. The contract will say that only the publisher can manufacture and reproduce the product. Anyone else copying and reproducing this work is in breach of contract that the author and the publisher have entered.

    Sharing and reproducing written files is not theft but a breach of contract and is therefore illegal as only the publisher has the right to do so.

    The problem come when actually identifying someone via an IP address as such a thing is so easily faked. If they could cross reference the time of day with your MAC address it would hold up that it was that specific machine but still not the actual user. Even if they took your PC for evidence it doesn’t mean you put the data there as you could have been hacked or a virus could have been running in the background. Identifying the actual perpetrator is next to impossible unless you catch them in the act.

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      Oh, Barry. Barry, Barry, Barry. Where to begin? At least I can’t argue with the “little” part, but I have to take issue with “knowledge”.

      Contracts can only be breached by parties to that contract. If you, barrytheferret, assign specified intellectual property rights to a publisher, erictheweasel, then the two of you have a contract. If weaselly Eric tries to exert rights that you haven’t assigned to him then that might constitute breach of contract. However anything nevilletherat does is completely unrelated to your contract – he’s not a party to it, nothing he does will directly breach it and neither you nor Eric will be able to take action against him for breach of contract.

      MAC addresses are layer 2 identifiers. They exist* only on the local network, not on remote networks. Yes, your ISP will be able to see the MAC address of your router/modem if you’re using a PPPoE connection but they will not be able to see, without having access to your router, the MAC address of your PC or any other device connected to your network. And MAC addresses are easier to spoof than IP addresses – most devices will explicitly allow you to do this, and certain network behaviours rely on it.

      Bonus marks for public-spiritedness though!

      *In very general terms.

  42. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    I think pirates are acting like complete pricks.

    I think CD Projekt are acting like complete pricks.

    Is it OK if I post here? If you like, I can come back after I’ve developed a tabloidesque, with-us-or-against-us mentality.

  43. kataras says:

    It’s amazing to see so many people here defend intellectual property rights…
    I loved Witcher 2, I pre-ordered it but that doesn’t mean the current use of IP concepts and legislation is not very problematic. Instead of discussing why we need IP, why we cannot find another model where people get paid in a way that is disassociated from their production, IP legislation is used to bully and censor and always for the benefit of business, never for that of culture or that of creative people (and not industries)…
    What is it called? The Stockholm Syndrome?

    • alundra says:

      “IP legislation is used to bully and censor and always for the benefit of business, never for that of culture or that of creative people (and not industries)…
      What is it called? The Stockholm Syndrome?”

      Yeah, that pretty much defines it:
      The phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stockholm_syndrome

  44. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I don’t quite understand why one would get so upset about this. I understand downloaders are protected, but really, what else could CDP do to tackle piracy? Is there a way to adress people uploading/distributing games and the like?

    If not, well.. I understand where CDP’s coming from and I feel that if that is the case we need less severe DRM and more protection of digital products themselves.

  45. Jabberwocky says:

    I am inclined to support a publisher who is:
    1. Anti-DRM
    2. Anti-piracy, including legal action against those whom they deem pirates.

    I don’t think this stance necessarily makes CD Projekt the bad guys.

    Also, just because an IP address isn’t 100% iron-clad proof of an illegal download, does not mean it is wrong for CD Project to initiate a legal process based on probable evidence. The accused can defend himself, should the action proceed. This is what courts are for.

  46. alundra says:

    This about CDP is proof of how removing the EFF from the HIB 4 couldn’t have been done at a worse time:

    First, an IP address doesn’t automatically identify a criminal suspect. It’s just a unique address for a device connected to the Internet, much like a street address identifies a building. In most cases, an IP address will identify a router that one or more computers use to connect to the Internet. Sometimes a router’s IP address might correspond fairly well to a specific user—for example, a person who lives alone and has a password-protected wireless network. And tracking the IP addresses associated with a person over time can create a detailed portrait of her movements and activities in private spaces, as we’ve pointed out in a case in which the government is seeking IP addresses of several Twitter users in connection with the criminal investigation of Wikileaks.

    But in many situations, an IP address isn’t personally identifying at all. When it traces back to a router that connects to many computers at a library, cafe, university, or to an open wireless network, VPN or Tor exit relay used by any number of people, an IP address alone doesn’t identify the sender of a specific message. And because of pervasive problems like botnets and malware, suspect IP addresses increasingly turn out to be mere stepping stones for the person actually “using” the computer—a person who is nowhere nearby.

    This means an IP address is nothing more than a piece of information, a clue. An IP address alone is not probable cause that a person has committed a crime. Furthermore, search warrants executed solely on the basis of IP addresses have a significant likelihood of wasting officers’ time and resources rather than producing helpful leads.

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/08/why-ip-addresses-alone-dont-identify-criminals

    • datom says:

      Indeed.

      See also DNA for proving the presence of an identifier being taken as proof of guilt. Fun fact: the unique nature of fingerprints has never been empirically proved, or even proved beyond reasonable doubt..

  47. GepardenK says:

    Old news, but this is the CEO of valve’s take on piracy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLC_zZ5fqFk
    This is the right way to look at it from a publisher perspective. Pirated copies are not lost sales, they are non sales. Focus on how to bring inn as many actual sales as possible, that’s the important part. According to Gabe, the answer is not DRM or lawsuits.

    Relative to number of consumers PC games were pirated and copied more in the 90’s. Piracy didn’t kill PC games – Consoles with cheap hardware and good smooth graphics for everyone did.

    And these letters are nothing but clever blackmails, many people get scared and pay – even if innocent. Companies have freelance lawyers that do this on a regular basis. It’s the same reason why Apple sue all of their competitors (and even business partners like Samsung): They know they will loose 90% of the cases, but the settlement money on the 10% they don’t loose makes it all worth it.

    • Jabberwocky says:

      Steam goes to an awful lot of effort to prevent piracy. You can’t just copy a steam game from your hard drive and give it to somebody else. So obviously there is some correlation between piracy and lost sales, or else they wouldn’t bother.

    • GepardenK says:

      Steam is a service that sells games. Thats why they want you to log on each time you play; so you can see their latest offers. It has nothing to do with piracy other than making sure it’s not too easy for the average joe

    • Jabberwocky says:

      The executable for a steam game on your computer will not run on a different computer. This is absolutely 100% designed to prevent piracy. Sure, it is aimed at “average joes”. But it’s anti-piracy none-the-less.

    • GepardenK says:

      True, but as long as it dosent hurt the consumer, who cares? They must have some protection to get publishers to post their games on steam, anti-piracy is all the rage these days.

      The point is that valve/steam don’t go out of their way to force-prevent piracy, simply because that’s not how you make good money on the PC

  48. JCJensen says:

    Gabe is a GOD among men, but he is also a prominent figure in PC gaming, and 90% of his inocome comes from Steam, so he is not completely honest here. If Valve was just a developer/publisher, he would’ve sang a different song..

    P.S. Why does some individuals here so strongly defend piracy?

    • GepardenK says:

      I don’t think most people directly defends piracy, it’s more that they are sick of all the hysteria and how it affects the honest gamer; DRM etc. There is also some serious uncertainty around if piracy hurts sales on a grand scale or not. For example; if a guy was never going to buy your game in the first place you rather he pirated it; that’s free PR you otherwise wouldn’t have.

      Truth is that as long as software is stored locally it will always be piratable. There is no way around it. But if you work with it and produce quality products with (more importantly) a good and easy service people will buy your game. Money is always never an issue as long as it is easy. Heck, my steam account is chock full of games that I never even would have bothered to pirate. In fact, I haven’t pirated a single game since I started using Steam and later GOG

      EDIT: Oh, and it’s true that Gabe probably got his views because of the position that he is in, but that dosen’t make his points any less true. Starcraft 2 did well despite being a non steam game, and for 3 reasons: Great legacy, quality product and good/easy service

  49. Eclipse says:

    I’m all for CD Projekt, they said they were going to do it, and they’re tracking only IP address that downloaded the game from known torrent trackers, there’s almost no possibility of a false positive.
    And the story of someone letting the wifi open is a bit stupid, even if you let your wi-fi open the cases of someone not only connecting, but downloading The Witcher 2 from your connection are very, very low.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      Newsflash: BT trackers intentionally add spoof IPs. Therefore you are guaranteed to have false positives.

    • Wulf says:

      I hadn’t even thought of the spoofed IPs angle. Oh gods…

      Okay, need to leave this, this is actually making me feel a bit queasy. I just worry that there are poor people out there who might actually pay this rather than having to deal with any other fees, which may cost more.

  50. DigitalSignalX says:

    All of this is a good reminder that whole disc encryption is free, easy to use, and offers little or no performance hit on computers newer then 5 years or so.